2017 Year in Review

Photo by BrandiGard

When I was an angsty teen and had a Xanga account, I used to always write a year-end wrap of everything I learned/ways I grew/etc. Before the end of my craziest year yet, I wanted to pop back on here and give a wrap-up. Mostly for myself, but also to prove to you that hello, I’m still here!

So here’s all the things I accomplished/things I learned in 2017…

I Had a BABY

You probably know this. I had a BABY. Motherhood has been the craziest transition of all time, the most wonderful blessing, and the most pivotal game-changer. Even when you think you have it all together, LOL motherhood comes and kicks you in the nuts! I thought I was organized and a homemaker before motherhood, but having a baby puts things into overdrive and boy oh boy is it a wild ride!

… and survived! With a lot of help.

Most importantly, I had a baby and I made it. It wasn’t as “planned” but I literally survived, and that was a legit 2017 goal of mine. Childbirth scared the crap out of me! I survived the recovery, too, in large thanks to my parents, my husband, and my friends. I am still not certain how I ever made it through those first few months but I’m so grateful they are a memory now, ha!

Photo by Belle Sarvansky

I lost myself a little…

I wrote about Post Partum everything and how difficult it had been for me to deal with. It was not easy, but luckily I’m mostly passed all of that.

…. but found myself a LOT

Being able to find who I am now that I’m much more than who I was in my maidenhood has been a JOURNEY. Motherhood has forced me into self-exploration… finding yourself is not optional once you have a little, because if you don’t take care of you then you end up further and further into the rabbit hole of sad.

I successfully worked for myself for 10 whole months

This is huge. I left my job and supported myself thanks to my work at We Heart Branding. I refined my business and my strategy time after time and I have worked with the most amazing people. I am running a business, and I am so proud to say that.

Photo by BrandiGard

I learned a lot about who I am as a business owner

I discovered that I am filled with a lot of ideas, but just low on time and financial resources. So I have been trading dollars for hours to serve my wonderful clients. But it isn’t always ideal – when PPD hits or the baby gets sick, I have to take unplanned time off. And that’s not ideal. I learned as a business owner I need to prepare for the unplanned, and know that things rarely stay on schedule.

I traveled … a LOT!

Nashville, London, Amsterdam, and even California twice! This year was amazing because we did so so much! My husband and I went to Nashville for the eclipse for his birthday, then we went on a very belated honeymoon just us two to Europe. I traveled solo to California with the baby (and boy was that exhausting), and then we went as a family to California for Christmas. Seriously – we are too blessed.

I started teaching Pilates again

While I didn’t necessarily start training myself again, I did go back to teaching pilates after almost a year. It was truly the biggest blessing. I only teach one class a week, but that is my scheduled time to leave the house without the baby and without my husband and just focus on work. Working from home means I sometimes go days (yes, really), without going outside (gotta be as productive as possible, ok?!) so having this outlet has been wonderful.

I gave myself grace and slowed down…

Coming back from Maternity leave I wanted to do allthethings. But obviously, that is not possible. I told myself for all of April and May that I was not allowed to try anything new. Because motherhood was new enough! It was hard for my to slow down, but much needed.

Then I gave myself hell and went on to THRIVE

In November I realized I had everything I needed: reliable childcare, amazing clients, all the tech set up, and resources galore. I gave myself a pep talk and went to work – and I’m proud of what I accomplished.

I launched my Etsy Shop

I have been designing printables since 2014 (you might remember this one). But I realized that the reason for not sharing these with the wold (everyone makes them, why should I add to a saturated market) was STUPID and that I should just do it. Being honest – I was designing them anyway so why not share them with people who might find them useful?! Duh! So I launched my Etsy Shop – it needs a lot more love, but for now I’m proud that it’s up and out there!

I made new friends in unconventional ways

A big goal for myself in Q3 was to make new friends. Literally. I had it as a weekly goal to reach out to someone online through instagram or go to a networking event without the baby. This was new for me – I used to operate on the #nonewfriends mantra for years. But since my best New York friends moved all the way to the Bronx (which might as well be a different state some days), I felt super lonely and needed to put more effort into meeting new people. I joined a mama community, a bunch of Facebook groups, and started messaging back and forth with some NY bloggers. And I’m lucky enough to say I’ve found some great girlfriends and clients this way!

Photo by BrandiGard

I got booked out with my business

I spent a lot of the Spring and Summer turning down clients, but I suddenly realized that I needed to find a better way to make this work. Who throws away leads?! Especially when they are people I know I can help! So…

…. I expanded We Heart Branding!

I added a TEAM of Virtual Assistants instead of just me – it has been so wonderful to be able to partner with incredibly intelligent women and know they have my back. It was also amazing to be able to redo my business in this way – couldn’t have done it without the best of one of my business besties, Nevica. If you don’t know her – get on it! She is amazing!

I became a certified Domestic Goddess and Housewife (jk… kind of)

I’ll write more about this in detail another time, but basically: I’ve found my routine as mom, and I’ve been able to focus on creating a meaningful household without driving myself insane. I’ve been cooking (from scratch!) every day (inspired mainly by my girl Fallon at Casa de Fallon), actually sticking to a dishwasher and vacuuming/mopping schedule, and more. Being home all the time and being a new mom turned my home organization skills UPSIDE DOWN for sure, but I feel I’ve found my groove and conquered the drama before.

2017 was a huge year of growth for me. I’m nervous for 2018 because every time I think I’m on track, a big surprise comes and shows me I’m supposed to be on another track (hello, Ivy!). I’ve got a lot up my sleeve for this next year, and I’m hopeful that with the right amount of time and energy I plan on dedicating, it will all happen.

So, sorry this wasn’t a cute Ivy monthly update (gotta give yourself grace when you accidentally plan too much for yourself, amirite?), but I’m FEELING IT for 2018. And Ps – if you are into the Powersheets (aka the goal-planning tool I have been loving since 2015), feel free to join my facebook accountability group. I’m keeping it small (under 30 people for now) but if you are feeling the whole goal setting vibe, we’d love to have you!